If ‘cognitively compromised’ is the criteria, I know who’s not getting my vote | Opinion

I’ve been reluctant to make this call for a while, and know I will upset plenty of my readers with the decision to do it now.

I know it is highly disruptive for a major political party to change nominees this late in a presidential election cycle. But the stakes are too high for our democracy to not say anything.

A man who referred to ”airports” during the Revolutionary War simply shouldn’t be in the Oval Office.

A man who once suggested nuclear bombs should be used to curtail hurricanes shouldn’t have access to the nuclear football.

A man who suggested Americans should maybe inject disinfectant inside our bodies as a COVID-19 cure should not be in charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Issac Bailey
Issac Bailey

A man who didn’t seem to know the difference between former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley and former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is not capable of navigating tough political negotiations with a divided Congress to foster compromises that advance the interests of all Americans.

A man who didn’t know the difference between the prime minister of Hungary and Turkey’s president should play no role in international affairs, particularly while the Middle East is on fire as the Gaza conflict drags on.

A man who seemed to suggest you need photo ID to buy a loaf of bread is obviously too far gone to be a competent steward of the most powerful economy on the planet.

A man who makes nonsense statements is the wrong choice for a country that believes it is great.

Donald Trump is not fit to lead this country. He’s too cognitively compromised. At least that’s what his repeated verbal stumbles tell us. He could clear that up by having a full-independent mental and physical examination and release the results to a worried public. That he refuses to take such an undemanding step strongly suggests he has something to hide.

I think I was wrong about Trump. All those times I thought he was just a compulsive liar, like during his first debate against President Joe Biden, maybe he wasn’t. Maybe he just didn’t know right from wrong, fact from fiction, that he wasn’t capable of knowing the difference. Maybe that’s why he incited a violent insurrection on the Capitol, was found liable of fraud and rape, and convicted of 34 felonies. Maybe that’s why he has said so many contradictory things about abortion after helping to appoint the three Supreme Court justices who helped overturn a half-century of precedent that has led to laws that risk the lives of a growing number of pregnant women.

When he called Georgia officials looking to overturn an election he lost in 2020, maybe he just didn’t know any better — like a 5-year-old who asks for another scoop of ice cream before bedtime. He’s probably just a well-meaning elderly man who has been misunderstood, like so many other Americans in cognitive decline. Of course, the better explanation for the phone call to Georgia is that Trump cares only about himself and is willing to tear down our democracy to get his way.

I wish it wasn’t so. I wish Republican voters had been more careful in their choice during the recent GOP primaries. I wish the media had done a better job documenting these lapses and relentlessly called for Trump to step down long before his crowning as the GOP nominee.

Here we are, though. We can’t turn back the clock — but it’s not too late.

The GOP could turn to Haley. It could turn to the other South Carolina presidential candidate, Tim Scott. Heck, it could dredge up the body of the politically-dead Ron DeSantis.

But do something, the GOP must. A man so cognitively compromised should not be commander in chief.

Issac Bailey is a McClatchy Opinion writer in North and South Carolina.